Despite being one of the best players in the NBA, Kawhi Leonard does struggle with the idea of superstardom. The former 2-time Finals MVP has shied away from the limelight on several occasions and doesn’t try to make too many public appearances.
A mid-first-round draft pick in 2011, Leonard really stepped up his game in 2014, when he was a pivotal member of the San Antonio Spurs team that won the NBA championship. In fact, Leonard’s defense on LeBron James earned him Finals MVP honors.
After that, Leonard became a true star in the league and became the crown jewel of the Spurs as the golden generation of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker all slowly walked away from the game.
As Leonard kept improving every season, the team tried building around him. That is until 2018 when Leonard demanded a trade and was subsequently sent to Toronto. With the Raptors, Leonard became a public figure more because of his hilarious reactions to situations.
But on the court, Kawhi was still a fantastic player. ‘The Klaw’ led the Raptors to the NBA championship, pulling off one of the greatest individual playoff runs in NBA history. He won his second Finals MVP as the Raptors dethroned the Warriors.
After his second championship win, Kawhi became the most sought-after free agent in the 2019 class and signed with his hometown LA Clippers. Being in a big market, Leonard has been getting more endorsement offers for businesses off the court.
But one of Leonard’s most prized endorsements came in 2017 when he and popular chicken wing franchise Wingstop entered an agreement. Leonard was a big fan of Wingstop, and despite his large salary, would do anything to get free coupons for the restaurant.
So much so, that Leonard actually lost his original coupons for Wingstop, given to him as part of the endorsement, and had to call them to get new coupons.
"[Leonard] is happy to sponsor Wingstop, which sends him coupons for free wings, so he can feed his Mango Habanero addiction. This winter, after his $94 million contract kicked in, he panicked when he lost his coupons. Wingstop generously replenished his supply."
Since then, Leonard has earned a lot more major endorsements, most notably from New Balance for his own signature shoe. But it is fair to say that there is no endorsement he enjoys the benefits of more than his Wingstop deal.
Kawhi is very selective with his brand endorsement and sponsorship deals. So it comes as a bit of a surprise when we find out that Leonard is a big fan of Wingstop. But their relationship seems to be beneficial to both parties, so it makes sense to them, and that is all that matters.